Last night I crossed le Pont des Arts and walked along the Seine until I reached the road that passes in front of the Pyramid du Louvre. I walked along the Jardins des Tuilleries (the gardens were closed for a huge launch party inaugurating a new television station called "24") and made my way up to the Champs Elysées where I decided to climb the Arc de Triomphe and take in a panoramic vista of the city. It was a beautiful night and I suspected the weather would afford an impressive view (the visibility is always improved after the rain), but I had to promise the lady at the ticket counter and the kid collecting tickets at the bottom of the stairs that I would not use my tripod. Up top, the presence of two armed guards in a glass shelter helped me keep my word. I made a few attempts to balance my camera on the railing, but the wind was fierce and my hands were cold and I couldn't keep it steady. I came back down and headed for the nearest metro station. I got off at Trocadéro where I found the Tour Eiffel intersected by sharp rays of blue light from spotlights mounted below the square. I setup my tripod (no guards!) and fired off the 21 frames that make up this panorama (3 rows of 7 images, the first row level to the ground, the other two above and below). Click on the picture for a larger view.
Earlier in the day I met my friend Laurence at Les Beaux Arts where she was showing her paintings, sculptures, and projections (the culmination of 5 1/2 years of work) to a panel of artists and art critics invested with the power to grant or deny her diploma. I found her in tears, surrounded by her friends and a kind teacher. The jury had just given her the diploma, but not before putting her through the wringer.
Here she is being consoled by her boyfriend in a courtyard next to the studio.
After the tears, it was smiles all around.
Laurence's friend Valentine, a photography student, has a cigarette as she waits for the jury to pass judgement on her installation.
A glimpse into one of the Atteliers des Beaux Arts.
There were bicycles everywhere (I didn't see a single mountainbike!)
I said bye to Laurence and drifted towards the Seine.
I passed booksellers along the river bank
and headed home along the Rue de Seine.
After dinner, I went out for another walk.